64 With seven loaves, Jesus feeds four thousand men.

Matthew 15:32–38; Mark 8:1–9

How do we know that the story of feeding four thousand is not a misrepresentation of an earlier time when five thousand were fed (Matthew 15:32)?

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If people hadn’t brought sufficient food, why hadn’t they returned home earlier (Matthew 15:32)?

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Why would people be at risk of fainting on their way home (Matthew 15:32)? Couldn’t they have bought food somewhere on their journey?

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If the disciples had seen Jesus feed five thousand, why would they think he wouldn’t feed four (Matthew 15:33)?

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How did the bread and fish differ from what was used the time before (Matthew 15:34)?

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What might different people in the crowd have thought when they saw everyone being fed (Matthew 15:35–37)?

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How was the size of the crowd determined (Matthew 15:38)?

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During these days, another huge crowd gathered. Because they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples. “I feel sorry for all these people who have been with me for three days and have nothing left to eat. If I send them away hungry, they might faint on their way home because many have come from far away.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:32 Jesus called his disciples. “I feel sorry for all these people who have been with me for three days and have nothing left to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they might faint on their way home.”
Mark 8:1–3 During these days, another huge crowd gathered. Because they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples. “I feel sorry for all these people who have been with me for three days and have nothing left to eat. If I send them away hungry, they might faint on their way home because many have come from far away.”
King James

Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
Mark 8:1–3 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

The disciples said, “In a desolate place like this, where can we get enough food to feed so many?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:33 The disciples said, “In a desolate place like this, where can we get enough food to feed so many?”
Mark 8:4 The disciples said, “In a desolate place like this, where can we get enough food to feed so many?”
King James

Matthew 15:33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
Mark 8:4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

“How many loaves do you have?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:34 “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said. “And a few small fish.”
Mark 8:5 “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said.
King James

Matthew 15:34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
Mark 8:5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

“Seven,” they said. “And a few small fish.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:34 “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said. “And a few small fish.”
Mark 8:5 “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said.
King James

Matthew 15:34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
Mark 8:5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. He took the loaves and fish, gave thanks, and broke them. He gave the pieces to the disciples, who distributed them to the crowd. After all had eaten as much as they wanted, the disciples gathered seven full baskets of leftover pieces.

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:35–37 Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. He took the loaves and fish, gave thanks, and broke them. He gave the pieces to the disciples, who distributed them to the crowd. After all had eaten as much as they wanted, the disciples gathered seven full baskets of leftover pieces.
Mark 8:6–8 Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. He took the loaves, gave thanks, and broke them. He gave the pieces to the disciples, who distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few small fish that he blessed and gave to the disciples to serve. After all had eaten as much as they wanted, the disciples gathered seven full baskets of leftover pieces.
King James

Matthew 15:35–37 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
Mark 8:6–8 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

Jesus sent the people home—four thousand men, plus women and children.

Eyewitness

Matthew 15:38 Four thousand men were fed, plus women and children.
Mark 8:9 Jesus sent the people home—four thousand men, plus women and children.
King James

Matthew 15:38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
Mark 8:9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.